MANILA - After losing six consecutive games in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters appear to have turned things around -- and just in time.
The Elasto Painters racked up a third straight triumph on Saturday night, overwhelming TerraFirma 97-82 despite not having veterans Beau Belga and Gabe Norwood, and young forward Mike Nieto due to health and safety protocols.
The victory improved Rain or Shine's record to 4-6, keeping them in the hunt for a spot in the quarterfinals. At the moment, they are in joint eighth place along with the Converge FiberXers.
"Going through a six-game losing streak, I didn't get much sleep. There was a lot of donut-eating and binge-eating," said ROS coach Chris Gavina after their triumph against Converge.
"It's amazing that we're in this position, considering that we had to go through that six-game losing streak. We dealt with a great deal of adversity during this month. We went through a whole month of not winning, and now, three wins in a row," he added.
What made their losing streak all the more painful for the Elasto Painters was that they were competitive in every game, only falling short in crunch time. Their average margin of defeat in the six games was six points.
Nonetheless, Gavina believes the lessons that his players learned from those experiences are now being put to use as they try to salvage their campaign in the All-Filipino conference.
"It's a high level league we're in," he pointed out. "It's hard to learn on the fly sometimes for younger players, and they just have to go through the fire."
"Guys like Andrei [Caracut], Anton [Asistio], Santi [Santillan], Mamu [Gian Mamuyac], Mike have all really gone through a level of adversity and challenges that they have to overcome. We're glad that they're learning from it," he added.
The toughest test will come on Wednesday when the Elasto Painters take on Magnolia, with their playoff lives on the line. Gavina is hopeful that they will be at full strength by then.
"We're extremely happy in the position we're in. We've got one more really tough game against Magnolia on Wednesday. It's do or die for us, really," he said.
"Hopefully, by the grace of God, these guys can really come back with no symptoms. I think our earliest testing is Tuesday for them, and if they're able to test negative, I believe they will be available for us on Wednesday. We'll definitely need all hands on deck against Magnolia," the coach added.
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